Easements: Should You Survey Property Before You Buy It?

Easements: Should You Survey Property Before You Buy It?

29 July 2022
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

If you plan to purchase a home that sits on a large parcel of land soon, you may do a title search on the property before you complete the transaction. If the title search uncovers easements on the property, you may wonder if it's a good idea to purchase the home. A land title survey can help you learn more about the home's easements. Learn more about easements and how a land title survey can help you below.

What Are Easements?

Easements are implied or written agreements between a landowner and another party, such as a neighbor or a local utility company. The agreements allow the other party to access the landowner's property for a specific reason or time period. The other party can't lay claim to the landowner's property, but they can use it whenever they need to do so.

Easements can be simple and easy to understand, or they can be unsettling and potentially life-changing. Easements that allow utility companies and other government or city entities to access a landowner's property tend to be easier to understand or handle, such as easement in gross and or appurtenant easement. However, easements that allow neighbors, strangers, and other people access to a landowner's property may not be so simple to understand or handle, such as prescriptive easements. 

Prescriptive easements can allow anyone to access your land for any purpose, including rude neighbors. The easements generally occur when an individual uses land or property without asking the landowner for permission. If the previous landowner doesn't say anything about the misuse of their land, the individual can continue to use the land well after the landowner sells it to someone else.

Although title searches can uncover most easements, the searches may not reveal everything. A land title survey may uncover hidden easements on the property you plan to buy. 

How Can a Land Title Survey Assist You?

A land title survey researches the property's history to see who and what has access to it now and in the future. Surveyors may question neighbors to see if they have direct access to the land through a prescriptive easement or through another unauthorized manner. 

Surveyors may also use aerial technology to inspect the land. Aerial technology like drones may fly over the property to see if it contains hidden boundary lines or pathways, fences, and alleyways. Drones may also locate hidden utility lines beneath the property. If underground utility lines show up on the property, it may have a gross easement attached to it. 

You want to complete the land survey as soon as possible before you close your real estate deal. Some home insurance companies won't insure a home or property if it contains hidden easements. If you locate the easements now, they may be easier to deal with later. 

Contact a company like PLCS Corporation to learn more. 

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Life and Construction

Tomorrow, as you go through your daily life, try making a list of everything you can thank a construction worker for. Before you even step out your door, you'll probably have to list several contractors who worked on your home, from the painters to the drywall hangers. Then, you'll drive down the road, noting the work of the road construction companies. By the end of the day, your list will be pretty long. We know — because we've done this experiment ourselves. It is actually what inspired us to write this blog about construction work. With so many contractors to thank, we figured we could share a bit about their work while we're at it.